Irish1975 wrote: ↑
Thu May 16, 2019 8:11 am
John2 wrote: ↑
Wed May 15, 2019 4:28 pm
Does it have
to be 70 CE though?
I'll settle for the conclusion that it might be 70 CE.
Could not what Paul says apply as well to any of the years of the 66-70 CE war, or even any time between 6 CE and 70 CE, given how Josephus characterizes the consequences of the Fourth Philosophy in Ant. 18.1.1?
But for Paul, wars and rumors of wars would not be theologically significant by themselves, except perhaps as heralding the parousia as in 1 Thessalonians. But the destruction of God's temple would be a defining moment for him, elevating both "his gospel" and "the gentiles" to the colossal importance that he palpably attributes to them.
And I would suppose that Paul would be more explicit about something like the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. Even Jesus in Mark is more explicit about it.
We would like Paul to be more explicit about all kinds of things, eg, who Jesus was to him. But either he or his 2nd century "redactors" left us with nothing specific. And, as I have already suggested, the event might have been so huge in the minds of his contemporaries that there was no need to name it categorically. Or a cautious prudence vis-a-vis his imperial captors/patrons might be in play. In general, Paul writes of empirical matters empirically only when he has a pressing reason to, as in Galatians when he describes his past history with the Jerusalem "pillars."
But the Damascus Document also welcomes Gentiles to a notable extent (and even alters the OT to support it), and also expects the coming of the Messiah and the End Time, but it says that the End Time has not fully arrived yet and doesn't mention the destruction of the Temple.
But when the age [of God's wrath] is completed, according to the number of those years, there shall be no more joining the house of Judah, but each man shall stand on his watchtower.
As Harrington and Himmelfarb note:
It is important to recognize that the Damascus Document is the only scroll to truly accept the ger at all ... Gentiles are not neutral; their idolatry makes them impure and contaminating. Nevertheless, presumably after an initiation and purification process, they can be included among the ger category of the sect.
https://books.google.com/books?id=o26q1 ... nt&f=false
And regarding the reference to "joining" the house of Judah above, Cohen notes that this word is used in the OT in reference to Gentiles and in eschatological contexts:
Isaiah 14:1 ... prophesizes that "strangers (hager) shall join (venilvah)
them and shall cleave to the House of Jacob" ... these passages address the eschatological age
, when the earth is filled with knowledge of the Lord, and a new cosmic order is being created ... The first and only passage in the Tanakh that would seem to refer clearly to the social integration of the gentile in the historical present is Esther 9:27: "The Judeans undertook and irrevocably obligated themselves and their descendants, and all who might join them, to observe these two days in the manner prescribed and at the proper time each year." Here we have Judeans (yehudim), and gentiles who attach themselves (nilvim aleihem) to them
; all alike constitute the community of those bound by the law of the Purim festival.
https://books.google.com/books?id=cvWq4 ... en&f=false
And the Damascus Document also mentions a teacher who taught about the destruction that God has done and continues to do to Israel:
... he made known to the latter generations that which God had done to the latter generation, the congregation of traitors, to those who departed from the way … great flaming wrath by the hand of all the Angels of Destruction towards those who depart from the way and abhor the Precept. They shall have no remnant or survivor. For from the beginning God chose them not ... He hid His face from the Land until they were consumed … understand the works of God ... great men have gone astray and mighty heroes have stumbled from former times till now ... they were as though they had never been because they did their own will ... so that His wrath was kindled against them …
But God, in His wonderful mysteries, forgave them their sin and pardoned their wickedness; and He built them a sure house in Israel whose like has never existed from former times till now … During all these years Satan shall be unleashed against Israel, as He spoke by the hand of Isaiah, son of Amoz, saying, Terror and the pit and the snare are upon you, O Israel ...
Moreover, they profane the Temple because they do not observe the distinction (between clean and unclean) in accordance with the Law … For (already) in ancient times God visited their deeds and His anger was kindled against their works … the apostates were given up to the sword; and so shall it be for all the members of His Covenant who do not hold steadfastly to these precepts. They shall be visited for destruction by the hand of Satan. That shall be the day when God will visit ... wrath shall be poured upon them, for they shall hope for healing but He will crush them. They are all of them rebels …
But when the glory of God is made manifest to Israel, all those members of the Covenant who have breached the bound of the Law shall be cut off from the midst of the camp, and with them all those who condemned Judah in the days of its trials.
In other words, the Damascus Document talks the same kind of talk as Paul but the Temple was still standing. And the Habakkuk Pesher is dated pre-70 CE and mentions the same teacher and refers to destruction caused by the Kittim (who are commonly thought to be the Romans), yet likewise does not mention of the destruction of the Temple (and the last Habakkuk verse it interprets says, "But the Lord is in His holy Temple: let all the earth be silent before Him!"):
... the Kittim ... cause many to perish by the sword - youths, grown men, the aged, women and children - and ... even take no pity on the fruit of the womb.
We would like Paul to be more explicit about all kinds of things, eg, who Jesus was to him.
But Paul says who Jesus was to him in 2 Cor. 5:16, i.e., a heavenly being whose previous humanity no longer interests him (and he says quite a bit about the heavenly Jesus throughout his letters):
From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer.
When it's done and over, Lord, a man is just a man.